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Author Topic: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks  (Read 5124 times)

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Offline inmontreal

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Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« on: August 17, 2006, 02:40:05 PM »
hey everyone.
I dont want to sound like a complainer or a cry baby because i know there are people out there who dont have access to meds or have been taking strong meds for years...But im starting Kaletra in 2 weeks..So far without meds im tired and anxiet has taken over. My cd4 are now at 357 and VL 30 000 . So i know its time. But how bad are things going to get? Will i be able to hold down a full time job? Will people around me who dont know watch me get sicker on meds not knowing my status? and finally the diharrea..is it like every minute of the day on the can? Does it stop eventually and for how long? Will it make me so weak? I sound crazy with questions i know..but i just want to know will life be worth living on meds or will i just feel like a walking corpse who takes a dump every minute of the day?

Offline penguin

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2006, 04:44:14 PM »
First of all, hello, nice to meet you, no apologies needed  :)

Always a bit scary, new things, when you don’t know what to expect. Kaletra though, is a good, powerful drug, a good choice for hammering down that viral load of yours, and in the process hopefully regaining you some of that energy you’ve lost. Here’s a link to  this site’s info on it:
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Kaletra_1559.shtml

Side effects worry lots of people at times, me included. Thing is, they’re very individual, and it may be that you have absolutely no problems at all. The important thing to remember is that if you do have any problems, 1) they may be very short lived, just a case of waiting for your body to get used to things a bit, and 2)there are lots of things you and your dr can do to help minimise them, like anti-diarrhea medications, changing your diet, etc.
There is some good info here about side effects,what they are, why they might happen, what you can do etc: http://www.i-base.org.uk/guides/side/general.html


As to work, and how you will feel…no one can answer that, unfortunately, not without a crystal ball anyway. Some people find it helpful to take a bit of time off, maybe a week or two, when they are just starting meds, just to give themselves bit of time to adjust, get used to a new routine, and generally not have all that other stuff to concentrate on. Is that something that might be an option for you?
Here is a nice little leaflet about starting meds etc:http://www.tht.org.uk/informationresources/publications/livingwithhivtreatments/stickingwithit.pdf

Your dr might give you option of taking the kaletra just once a day, if this is your first treatment regime..that’s good, if you think about convenience wise etc, but  if you are a bit worried about side effects, sometimes people who use this option find they are a bit more likely to experience tummy upsets etc - basically cos it’s the full whack of the drug dose in one go. Splitting it up might make it easier for your body to deal with.
Do you know what other medications you be taking with the kaletra?

Important bits - take it on time, every day, at same time(s), with food. Maybe have some Imodium/other anti-diarrhea medication to hand when you start, just in case.  Talk to your doctor/nurse too about the worries you’re having  - they can maybe offer you some extra support..

Is only  pills, just pills..  feels scary, yes, but try not to give them any more power than you have to..

let us know how you get on?

Kate



« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 01:53:09 PM by iana5252 »

Offline newt

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2006, 07:50:36 PM »
Personally, if resistance is not an issue, as a first line PI with a lowish viral load like yours, Reyataz may be an easier option.  But some people get on dead well with Kaletra and its a very well proven as effective n durable drug.  Just remember, if you dont like any of the side effects there are alternatives and established ways to manage them (were talking, in immediate terms here, the squits, and perhaps longer term a change in lipids)

As for the zombie bit, be prepared to feel better and more energised

First-line combo, by the guidelines, is 2 nukes + EITHER an NNRTI OR (as in your case) a boosted PI (like Kaletra).  The nukes are important, while Kaletra monotherapy has had encouraging results its still experimental, and, unless you have no nuke resistance or reasons just to take Kaletra alone (like money) I trust you will be taking 2 nukes along with this very effective drug.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline inmontreal

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 10:03:10 AM »
hey matt and Kate.
I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR RESPONSE! it really means alot to me because as i said i have no one to go to and my friends and family dont know which i will keep it that way because them knowing wont take this virus away and instead will burden others close to me. Im not strong enough yet to help others as well as myself. Maybe once i face the unknown (the effects of meds) and make it through i might open up to a few people.
Well i took 2 weeks off from work. I dont think i will have energy for the gym because even without meds i feel abit  wiped out during the day.
As for what im taking with the Kaletra, im not sure. All i know is that its a trial for gel caps vs tablets. The other 2 were mentioned but i blacked out during the explaination because i kept trying to figure out how i got this far..lol..
I feel like im ready to face what will happen because for some reason I know the storm will pass and i will once again see blue skies! But i will keep you guys posted and hopefully people who will shortly start treatment with Kaletra after me will read this and get a  brief glimps of what it will really be like!
as for this weekend..im gonna try to take whatever energy i got and go out to a club for a few beers (because it may be the last i take since i heard it gives you the runs the next day with meds) and have a good time!
Thanks again and will keep you posted. (augst 31 is d-day or a brand new happier life..we'll see)

Offline trellium

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2006, 08:23:13 AM »
Hi Inmontreal

are you in the M05-730 clinical trial?
Try not to worry too much about the side-effects, most of them are manageable and go away with time.
It has been 12 days since I started medication with Kaletra & Truvada for the clinical trial. 
For the first 8 weeks I will be taking 6 Kaletra capsules & 1 Truvada tablet once daily (with snack or food) in the morning.
After the 8 weeks on capsules I will be switching over to the new Kaletra tablet formulation.
The only annoying side-effect I have so far is diarrhea, it doesn't happen every minute of the day/night and nah it doesn't make you weak
Day Frequency
2 - 2X
3 - 1X
7 - 1X
8 - 1X
11 - 2X
12 - 2X

I do have some anti-diarrhea medication (Lomotil) but have not taken any yet.  Am holding off to see if my body can adjust to the medication on its own.
I do not feel any fatigue throughtout the day, but around 10 PM everyday since starting the medication I do feel more tired than usual i.e. before starting medication.  No problem with falling asleep too, I get about 6-8 hours of sleep daily (with no sleeping medication).
Other side-effects (like gas, and occasionally feeling a bit bloated) are less annoying and manageable.
Not all side-effects will stay, some of them will go away once your body adjust to the medication.
If you are in the Kaletra tablet group, I heard it has less side-effects particularly the diarrhea part. The new tablet formulation does not need refrigeration or require you to take it with food.  I can't wait to swap for the tablets after week 8 :>
Like you, I was also very worried about the side-effects (particularly diarrhea & fatigue) before starting medication.  It has gotten a lot better after I realized that the side-effects aren't as bad as I had imagined. :)  Go have fun this weekend but don't get too wasted on the beers! :P

Cheers!

Offline inmontreal

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 09:44:53 AM »
hey thanks so much for sharing your experience..yeah im going on the same trial! Well as far as the diherhia thing is concerned..i already have been going through that for the past few weeks even though im not on meds..i always feel wiped out and get reallly weak in the legs..must be weakness..I guess maybe going on the meds will make me feel better and back in the land of the living! Have you been going to work or have you taken time off? I just cant wait to get this over and done with and be able to work, take the bus and metro and gym without wanting to fel like im gonna pas out with dizzyness..(Not sure if its anxiety or HIV thats making me feel this weak..Hope im not at the AIDS stage just yet!)
Thanks again
PS..I did go out saturday night but only had one beer..i didnt have the energy to stand very long..so i only went out for 2 hours..I guess i will have to quit smoking and drinking if i go on meds :(

Offline trellium

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2006, 07:02:21 AM »
hey glad to see another fellow participant from the trial! :)
Here are a few links to managing side effects, particularly diarrhea

http://www.i-base.info/guides/side/diarrhoea.html
http://www.aidsmeds.com/lessons/StartHere7.htm
http://www.aidsinfonet.org/factsheet_detail.php?fsnumber=554

I'm taking some time off to let myself get adjusted to the medication, and it seems to be a good choice.  Your CD4 is still alright at 357 and VL is considered low at 30,000.  Technically you don't have AIDS until your CD4 drops below 200.  It is the right time to start medication.  Don't worry too much, anxiety can also cause diarrhea.  The doctors and nurses are very nice and professional, you are in good hands and will be closely monitored for the next 48 weeks of the trial. 

I just got result of my week 1 lab, VL dropped from 24,300 (4.39 log) to 1830 (3.26 log) in a week!  That's a difference of 1.13 log and doc told me its pretty significant :)
Genotype results show only common minor (PI) mutations at L63p & V77I, no other major mutation.  The virus appears to be sensitive to all 3 classes of drugs.
Will get my week 2 lab result 2 weeks from now. I hope my VL will be undetectable within a month  :o

PS..I still smoke everyday (I know its bad but hella hard to quit!!) although I did stop drinking 4 months ago.  I think it is ok to drink moderately, but quitting will probably be better if you can do it.  Wouldn't recommend taking your medication with a beer or shot :P.  Just take small steps at a time, don't try to quit too many bad habits all at once

What's in a log? Reading viral load numbers and log values...
http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=1864.msg20089#msg20089
http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=883.0

Offline jack

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  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2006, 10:38:43 AM »
I was on Kaletra the first six months of this year. I have taken every PI and just about every hiv drug and we all have different sides from all drugs. The first two weeks I didnt feel too good but after that had few problems compared to other PIs and drugs. Maybe I just dont notice the sides anymore? But K was easy for me. It was first PI that I didnt have diahrea on. DO NOT QUIT WORKING! I think work,especially work you enjoy,is the best therapy for HIV.

Offline inmontreal

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  • Posts: 77
Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2006, 12:57:11 PM »
hey trellium and jack
thanks for the warm welcome Tre. As for quitting..no i just took 2 weeks off. But incase things dont get better after 2 weeks i will have to bring the computer home and work from home till im ok again. Still get tired lately..But then again its also allergy season and i havent been at the gym for 3 months now so im assuming thats why im sluggish..well one more week to go..gotta admitt..im abit looking forward to it..at least if it works i can work again full time..go to the gym and still be able to see my friends..Just want to be normal again..im not afraid of the lypo..just the weakness

Offline inmontreal

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2006, 11:20:13 AM »
ok i took my first dose this morning...i woke up at 6:30..and i was just procastinating for the first few minutes..then i ate 3 waffles lightly syroped and then had two pieces of toast lightly buttered..At 7:30 i decided at the time..i went to my room and played Payed My Dues by Anastacia as my background music..i took the botttles and just looked at them for a second..then i said here goes nothing...whatever happens i can get through it..(i hope) then i took 3 of Kaletra orange caps..then one of each of the other 2 (Lamivudine and Tenofovir)..watched Desperate HOusewives (they show reruns inthe morning) ..and i waited...9:30 came and i waited again...its now 11:30 am and after a few saltine crackers and blueberries..still nothing...could it be possible that maybe i wont have any reaction at all like some of the lucky few? or is it still too early..after all i just had one dose..maybe after a few days of the dosages the side effects will kick in..i guess we'll just have to wait some more and see..I'll be having spegehtti for lunch..maybe after a big meal something will kick in.

Offline inmontreal

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2006, 04:20:44 PM »
ok that was wishful thinking..at about 12:40pm , 3/4 through my lunch..i felt a gurggle in my stomach and knew this was it..went to the bathroom and it was over  in a few minutes..after finishing hte rest of my lunch i took a nap..passed out for 2 hours...not sure if it was the meds that made me sleepy in the afternoon or is was it the fact i woke up at 6am? or is it just sheer laziness..in any case i woke up had a banana and my multi vitimine Centrum Extra Strength...Im really hoping things wont always be this bad i dont want to spend the rest of my life worrying about leaving the house and always trying to map out bathrooms and wondering if i'll ever shit my pants in public..I know God wants us to always face our fears..but please of all fears dont make me face that one..lol..well wever is reading this i'll keep you posted ..maybe this  help someone whos going to be in my shoes soon.

Offline inmontreal

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2006, 08:11:09 AM »
well its been almost the end of week 3..the side effects have subsided...mostly..still have to take my immodium to make sure that i dont have any "accidents". I took 2 weeks off from work and started back this past monday..i do experience the fatigue but as the days go by its seems to be less and less..the only problem that i still have is the sometimes dizzy feeling..or that im really light headed..my doc seems to think that when you have HIV for awhile and dont go on meds..that it sometimes effects the brain..but after going on meds, it clears up..im hoping its soon..hopefully once this feeling goes away and i get more strength back i can start back at the gym and make up for loss time. I get my lab results next week..hopefully the Kaletra is working and im not resistant to the drug.. Again to anyone starting meds..take the advise i was given..dont be scared of the side effects..its not that bad..and sometiems doesnt happen to everyone!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2006, 09:24:59 AM »
Glad to get your update and that you're back at work, albeit a bit dizzy every now and then.

These are powerful drugs and we are after all only a mix of chemistry ourselves, so it takes a while to sort out what's for you and what isn't. Now you've gotten through the first few weeks and past the anxiety of anticipatory apprehension which can really make you nuts, especially since other than here you don't have others in your life who know what's going on. (By the way, don't misinterpret that as a suggestion that you disclose right off. Gradually you will know when to do that and make a good guess about who's right to talk with).

In the meantime just keep going along as you are. Two more days and it's the weekend and you can chill after your first work week on meds.

Keep us posted.
Andy Velez

Offline clarke

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2006, 11:29:31 AM »
Hey, I didn't know it was out in Gelcaps now.  My better half has been on the liquid for several years (she totally despises the taste).  She tried the pill, but it was way too big, plus it caused her the scoots more than what she usually has to deal with.  She also takes the Immodium on occassion, but it also trying to get her diet in a more fiber and less refined stuff (which is a discipline, as we were used to fried foods, junk foods..you know.


Offline inmontreal

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2006, 02:24:19 PM »
yeah they are in gel caps..the bad news is they are discontinuing it..it will only be available in a tablet form. It was only available to me because im part of a trial to see what is more better pill or tablet..i think i head that it if you take a certain amount of tablets, you get less side effects..not sure ..ask your doc..this is all new to me ..but i still have the occasional runs...just depends on what i eat..ther drier the food the better is is on me..
 Thanks andy..i know its scarey but once i get thoughthe woods i will be ok on my own again;) just got to get my cd4 up to the 400s (was 205 the day before starting meds), then i;ll have pice of mind and move on with my life with more confidence!

Offline bubble

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  • hanging in there.
Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2006, 12:59:13 AM »
thanks for your posts. i'm supposed to start Kaletra next week... a little nervous about it cause i have to go visit my mom 2 weeks later so i'm worried i'll be shitting everywhere and she'll know something is up. my tcells have dropped to about 340 now and vl up to 80,000 and i really don't want them to get any lower or vl higher... ugh. do you think i should wait and jeapordize loosing tcells or take them asap and get over the side effects?
diagnosed 03/08/05
reluctantly started my first combo (Kaletra/Truvada) on 09/28/06 cause my tcells were dropping and vl increasing.
01/26/07 - undetectable!
12/01/08 - started new combo because of problems with Kaletra. Now on Truvada/Isentress.
Still undetectable. :)

Offline trellium

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2006, 02:51:12 AM »
Hi Bubble

It is important to have the right mind set before starting meds.
In my opinion, if you are concerned about having unmanageable side-effects while visiting your mom, I would suggest holding it off until then.
A 2 weeks delay is not gonna make much difference in cd4 or vl, but it does remove the chance of side-effects creeping up when its most unwanted/unexpected.

Offline bubble

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  • hanging in there.
Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2006, 03:50:51 PM »
thanks. yeah you may be right.
diagnosed 03/08/05
reluctantly started my first combo (Kaletra/Truvada) on 09/28/06 cause my tcells were dropping and vl increasing.
01/26/07 - undetectable!
12/01/08 - started new combo because of problems with Kaletra. Now on Truvada/Isentress.
Still undetectable. :)

Offline Brian360

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  • Just livin' it up until the sun goes down.
Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2006, 07:24:53 AM »
Funny you should ask.  I remember taking Kaletra and would have diareah(sp) more often.  Since then the doctors switched me to Fosemprenivir recently and I don't know if it's because of that or some other medication I am taking but now constipation and bloatedness rule my life it seems.  But I seemed to have stranger dreams with Kaletra so I guess I'll stick with the new stuff.
July06: Tcells 0, VL >+750,000
Aug06: TCells 22, VL 214,000
Sep06: TCells 32, VL 34,500
Oct06: TCells 92, VL 9,560
Dec06: Tcells 27, VL 25,000
Jan07: Tcells 43, VL - un-detect
Jan10: TCells 111 - popped to 160 fall 09, VL  undectable since Oct. 07

Offline inmontreal

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2006, 08:00:52 AM »
hey bubble..well i was ALOT like you..living at hoome and no one knowing of my status made it it really scarey..i wasnt sure at all what to expect but all the horror stories..its true everyone is different..some respond well with it with minor runs..and then again..that doesnt last for a long time..i had the runs maybe 1 or 2 times max (touch wood)..too immodium caplets to help subside the effects...So far the runs are very minimal..and before i was on meds i was majorly weak..but now im getting my energy back and cant wait to hit the gym! im just scared of what to eat and not to eat because of the triglycerides..but i'll have to wait to see to talk to a dietician as well as see my lab results to see how im responding...If i have to stay on meds..im hoping i'll get to stick to Kaletra..its relly not that bad..and again i thank trellium for telling me that it wasnt sop bad..hes ben on it a few weeks more than me so he filled me in on what i was going through! take care and let us know how you will be doing on it!

Offline inmontreal

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2006, 04:34:25 PM »
well my cd4 is 296..i was 205 when i started last month..i know it takes time but im really disscouraged..the percentage was 27%..well at least my vl went down to 3000 instead of 300 000 and i dont have aids (touch wood)..bad news is also im catching a cold..lol..the nurse told me it will take 6 months to a year  to see my cd4 go back to the normal range..well i guess i should look at it this way..my cd4s didnt drop! thats a good thing! Im slowly getting my energy back..but still not enough to get my butt to the gym..this is really frustrating because last night i had a dream that i was wasting away so much that i looked in the mirror and looked as though i was 80 or 90 years old just skin and bones..i think the dream was triggered by seeing glimpses of Philidelphia (it was on tv yesterday) and i saw some extras who had aids and had that look..have to be caureful what i watch because i should know by now that things are differnt now then they were back then..

Offline PETERJC

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2006, 09:07:31 PM »
Okay, as far as the diarrhea, no u will be okay wants you start adjusting your diet...stay away from fatty foods, dairy, and my doctor advised me to take Metamucil once a day and it seems to help.

Also, there is also the BRAT diet, Bananas Rice (white) sugar free applesauce and white toast plain..it is for kids but it seems to help me.

Also, when you do  have diarrhea, drink Gatorade to replenish the electrolytes that will be lost.

Now your big question, I do have my full time job...with no worries.  Just make sure that when you have a feeling that the diarrhea is coming, make sure you go when the feeling approaches.  I must admit I have had a few minor accidents, but it was in the beginning...now I have no problems.

I still have some diarrhea, bit not as much or as often.
"Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river." Lao Tse

Offline inmontreal

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2006, 08:03:16 AM »
hey PETERJC, thanks for the info and your reply..yeah the diherria believe it or not isnt one of my biggest concerns because as of lately its been going away or isnt as severe..i usually just eat dry food..for breakfast i eat mixed fruits (oranges, strawberries, blue berries, pine apple and kiwi), followed by some Corn pop cerial (without milk) and a bagel with 95% fat free cream cheese)..for lunch its a sandwich wih a couple slices of meat (no trans fat) and lettuce with abit of mayo and mustard..and then just eat super (whatever is usually made) with finally a whey protien shake with glutomine..so far all this seems to help..the only time i get the runs is if i eat greasy food (which i cant give up totally just yet..lol) but i have fast food maybe once a week..I'll see i dietician later this month to see if im doing this right. Im more worried about getting my cd4 count back up to at least in the 400's..and also i just want my energy back so i can hit the gym hardcore and avoid the whole concentration camp look..i just want to look and feel normal again..without the fear of getting sick or looking the part.

Offline Seven

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Re: Starting Kaletra in 2 weeks
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2007, 12:40:51 AM »
Good luck with Kaletra...IT SUCKS! IT MADE ME VERY VERY FAT!

CAn you tell I am a bit bitter about the whole situation.


:'(

 


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